Monday, December 05, 2005

TV's Nelson Martinez: What Really Happened? We've Got The Scoop, Plus: Lots More From The Media Beat; It's Monday Blogging, New Mexico Style 

Speculation became fever pitched in media circles when ABQ NBC affiliate KOB-TV announced that longtime and popular native New Mexican TV anchor Nelson Martinez was being given his walking papers, but refused to give a specific reason. Martinez would only say that it was "complicated" and he was hiring an attorney. Here's the exclusive insider report on what really happened.

When it comes to TV news always start with the ratings. Because, for better or worse, (mostly worse) that's all that really matters in the bottom line biz it's become. The numbers for the broadcasts Nelson anchored (4 and 5 p.m) since joining KOB two years ago consistently lagged KRQE AND KOAT. With that as a backdrop Nelson was ripe for the picking, or the kicking.

"Management claims Nelson canceled a recent 4 p.m. anchor appearance saying he was too sick to go on, but was seen later that day at the book signing for Governor Richardson in ABQ's North Valley. On top of that, the station is said to have video of Nelson at the signing shot by a KOB crew. It was the straw that broke the camel's back," reports our reliable TV informer who has spent decades in the tube trenches and who adds that Nelson is disputing management's take hence the attorney.

You mean Nelson may have laid his career on the line for Big Bill?! If so, will he be rewarded? Heck, the Guv has hired half the journalists in New Mexico for lesser reasons. Nelson is one of the great Mariachi musicians in our state so do you suppose Music Commission honcho Nancy Laflin, once a TV news anchor herself, can make some desk room for Nelson?

Dick & Erika
As for the TV news wars, in the November sweeps KRQE again rode the strength of CBS primetime to capture another narrow win over KOB-TV for the 10 p.m. news title. ABC affiliate KOAT was third. To the chagrin of us political types who yearn for more varied coverage, the three stations have come to depend on an even heavier mix of crime stories. But in TV news it's not yearning that determines what gets on the air. It's what earns. Who says crime doesn't pay?


Let's stay on the media beat to tell you that another TV anchor veteran, Jane Metzler of 1980's KOAT fame, is now being heard in ABQ/Santa Fe. She's a national anchor for Fox News radio which airs on KAGM 106.3 FM. And in a twist of irony, Dianne Anderson, of 1990's KOAT anchor fame, gets to listen to her as she conducts a midday talk show there...Katy Zachry, one of a number of young and aggressive reporters signed up by KRQE to take them to the top of the 10 p.m news heap, is leaving the station for TV news in Hartford, CT., the #28 market in the nation. ABQ has now inched up to #46.

Over at NM's #1 radio station, 50,000 watt giant 770 KKOB-AM, Big Bill got a lesson in how quick conservatives will turn on him, despite his attempts to romance them with tax cuts. National talker Sean Hannity last week panned Big Bill profusely for his new position on Iraq--set a definitive timetable for withdrawal--and even threw in a hand grenade over the Guv's resume mishap. Hannity is so pro-Prez that critics have taken to calling him "Bush's Bitch." But Big Bill and Sean were cozy together, until now. Lesson for the Guv? Sometimes the one you're using, is using you.

Finally, one of the writers for "Late Night With David Letterman" could not resist lampooning the Guv over his baseball blunder calling it his "Field of Hallucination. To which the Guv and his minions say: "Amen. Better to take our lumps now than later."

And with that we say thanks for tuning in. Send me your news and comments via e-mail.

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